Although tattooing is becoming increasingly popular and complications are rare, these procedures still carry health risks. Before a person gets a tattoo, it is important that they consider the risks, how to prepare for it, and how to take care of it.
Here are the potential health risks of tattoos and top tips for people considering getting a tattoo for the first time.
The health risks of tattooing
Choosing a quality tattoo parlor can help minimize the health risks of getting a tattoo.
Getting a tattoo carries several health risks that a person should be aware of before getting a tattoo.
These include in particular:
A person may have an allergic reaction to the pigment in the ink. Research suggests that certain red pigments are more likely to cause an allergic reaction.
A keloid is an enlarged scar that looks like a bump on the skin. It is made up of extra scar tissue and can occur as a result of trauma to the skin. When the tattoo needle pierces the surface, it can cause tiny wounds, where keloids can grow.
Infection can occur if bacteria or viruses enter the broken skin after a tattoo session. This can happen immediately after a person gets a tattoo, or in the days or weeks afterward as the skin heals.
Signs of tattoo infection are as follows:
– depending on the skin tone, the area may appear red, dark brown or purple
– bumpy or raised skin
In the most extreme cases, the person may have a fever, open sores or pus on or around the tattoo.
If the tattoo material contains infected blood, the infection can be transmitted to another person during the tattoo session.
Here are some examples of blood-borne infections:
– hepatitis B
– hepatitis C
Swelling around the tattoo is a common problem. During the tattooing process, the skin experiences trauma from the needle penetration, resulting in swelling.
Precautions to take before getting a tattoo
To minimize potential health risks, a person can take the following precautions:
Choose a quality studio
Due to the potential health risks, the issuance of a tattoo license regulates and governs the practice of tattooing.
There is no federal law regulating the regulation and practice of tattooing in the United States. However, states pass their own laws regarding licensing, and not all require tattoo artists and premises to be licensed.
The National Conference of State Legislatures has information on state tattoo requirements.
Check that the studio and equipment are clean
Here are some signs that a tattoo studio has a good level of hygiene:
– They have a sharps box to dispose of used needles.
– After a tattoo, a person cleans all stations and surfaces.
– The tattoo artist uses gloves and changes them between sessions.
– The tattoo artist uses a new needle for each client.
If a person has a pre-existing condition, such as diabetes, it may be worth discussing the tattoo with their doctor. Indeed, a person whose diabetes is poorly controlled may see their healing process delayed or altered.
How to prepare before getting a tattoo
The following steps can help a person before starting a tattoo session, and promote healing afterwards:
– avoid alcohol in the 24 hours before
– drink water
– wear loose clothing
– sleep well the night before
Follow-up advice after a tattoo
To ensure that the tattoo heals well, the tattoo artist usually provides aftercare advice. First of all, since the tattoo is an open wound and bacteria can infect it, it is best to avoid the following:
– swimming pools for a maximum of 2 weeks
– direct sunlight for 2 weeks
– intense physical exercises for 48 hours.
To keep the tattoo clean and promote healing, you have to think about:
– Gently clean the area: Advice may vary between tattoo artists, but a person should clean their new tattoo two or three times a day with antibacterial soap and warm water.
– Apply moisturizer: After washing and drying the area, a person should moisturize the tattoo. The moisturizer should be fragrance-free.
– Drink water: This is important as it will help keep the skin hydrated
– Do not scratch: While the tattoo is healing, it is normal for it to be itchy. If a person scratches and pulls the scabs off, it can create a higher risk of infection. The tattoo may also appear slightly discolored.
Tips for the first tattoo
The first tattoo can be a nerve-wracking experience for some people. It may be helpful to consider some of the following tips to make the experience more comfortable:
– Do lots of research: If a person wants a particular style of tattoo, it is worth looking for artists who have a good portfolio of those designs. This can help ensure that the person is happy with their tattoo.
– Be 100% sure: A tattoo is usually a permanent modification of the body. A person must be completely sure that they want to engage in it.
– Discuss your concerns with the tattoo artist: The artist can explain the tattoo process and ease any concerns.
– Eat: before the appointment, the person must have a meal. This will reduce hunger during the session and may decrease the risk of fainting.
– Dress appropriately: The person should wear comfortable clothing, and avoid tight or restrictive clothing.
– Do not drink alcohol: It is best to avoid alcohol as it can thin the blood and cause excessive bleeding. This can cause difficulty for the tattoo artist, and it can also thin the ink and make the tattoo look washed out.
Is laser tattoo removal painful?
The most common and safest method of removing a tattoo is laser removal, which involves the use of lasers to break up the pigment in the tattoo. The color of the tattoo and the skin type of the person play a role in choosing the type of laser. Laser tattoo removal is often a painful procedure. However, this can vary depending on a person’s pain threshold. Results may vary and the number of laser sessions a person needs depends on the color and size of the tattoo.
Although laser tattoo removal is a promising option for someone who wants to get rid of a tattoo, it can be painful and may not completely remove the tattoo.
Getting a tattoo comes with certain risks, such as infection, keloids, and swelling. However, if a person takes the necessary precautions, they can help minimize these risks. A person who wants to get a tattoo should be sure that they want to go down this path. It is possible to remove them with lasers. However, this is a painful procedure that may not completely remove the tattoo.